Rochester draws Bremen, could face Valley in semis
1A, No. 3 Caston gets bye; Argos to play Culver for 3rd time; Pioneer to face Wabash
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
If the Rochester and Tippecanoe Valley girls basketball teams are to meet in the sectional, it will happen in the semifinals, according to the IHSAA draw released Sunday.
Meanwhile, Caston received a bye in Class 1A, Sectional 52; rivals Argos and Culver will meet for a third time in a Class 1A, Sectional 50 quarterfinal; and Pioneer will face Wabash in a Class 2A, Sectional 36 quarterfinal.
Sectionals will be held from Jan. 31-Feb. 4, regionals are Feb. 11, semistates are Feb. 18 and the four state title games are set for Feb. 25.
The IHSAA changed the format for regionals and semistates at its Executive Committee meeting last June, effective the 2022-23 season. Teams will have to win one game to win a regional and two games to win a semistate. Since 2002, teams had to win two games to win a regional and one game to win a semistate.
Semistate sites in the north include Logansport, Frankfort, LaPorte and Huntington North. The IHSAA will decide on Feb. 12 the semistate matchups and which venue will host which class.
Sectional tickets are $7 per session or $15 for an all-sectional ticket.
Rochester, Tippecanoe Valley
For the rivals to meet in Class 3A, Sectional 18, Rochester will first have to beat host Bremen in a quarterfinal at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 31. Valley, who received a bye, will await the winner.
Rochester and Bremen will be meeting for the first time since the Lady Lions beat the Lady Zs 45-41 on Jan. 13, 2015. That Rochester team went on to advance to semistate, which ironically was the last year the Rochester girls participated in the Class 3A tournament.
Bremen left Rochester’s schedule the following season.
Rochester improved to 11-11 with their win over Manchester Saturday while Bremen is 7-13 after dropping the Bi-County title game to LaVille 43-40 Saturday. Bremen is trying to avoid its first losing season since 2015-16.
Seeking their first sectional title since 2017, Valley is 4-0 during the regular season against sectional opponents, including wins over both Rochester and Bremen. All four wins have been by at least nine points.
Valley clinched their second straight Three Rivers Conference title with a 55-42 win over Southwood Saturday.
Senior post player Millie Scorsone is expected to make her Valley debut in the Feb. 3 semifinal game.
In the other half of the draw, Culver Academy drew John Glenn with the winner to play Knox. Culver Academy is a defending sectional champion.
The sectional champion will play the Sectional 19 champion at the Jimtown regional. No. 8 Mishawaka Marian is the host school for Sectional 19.
The No. 3 Lady Comets went 7-0 in Hoosier North play, ending what was believed to be at least a 25-year conference title drought. Now they will try to break a 38-year sectional dry spell.
Caston will begin postseason play in Class 1A, Sectional 52 at Tri-County with a semifinal game on Feb. 3 against either West Central or North White.
Caston knocked off North White 45-34 on Nov. 11 in their regular season meeting; they did not play West Central during the regular season.
North White defeated West Central 50-38 in their regular season meeting on Dec. 6. North White also knocked Caston out of last year’s sectional.
Caston is 19-1, having suffered their first loss to North Miami Thursday after a 19-game winning streak to start the season. The other five teams in the sectional are a combined 49 games under .500.
In the other half of the draw, Frontier will play Tri-County with the winner to meet South Newton in the semifinals. Tri-County beat both Frontier and South Newton by 41 points each during the regular season.
The sectional champion will face the Sectional 51 champion in a regional at Caston. No. 8 Bethany Christian is in Sectional 51.
Argos has not lost to Culver since Jan. 20, 2015, and they already have two wins by a combined eight points over Culver this season. Argos coach Scott Jennings is 6-0 against Culver in three seasons.
The Lady Cavs will try to end their 13-game slide against the Lady Dragons in a Class 1A, Sectional 50 quarterfinal at Culver on Feb. 1.
Argos has also won the last seven sectional meetings against Culver dating back to 2004.
The Argos-Culver winner will meet the Trinity Greenlawn-Westville winner in the semifinals on Feb. 3. Both Argos and Culver have wins over Trinity Greenlawn, and Culver also has a win over Westville.
In the other half of the draw, Marquette Catholic drew Oregon-Davis with the winner to meet Triton. Triton (13-7) and Marquette Catholic (12-7) have the two best records in the sectional field.
Argos beat Trinity Greenlawn, Culver and Oregon-Davis to win last year’s sectional.
This year’s sectional champion will face the Sectional 49 champion in a regional at Caston. No. 5 Washington Township, No. 9 Kouts, co-No. 10s Morgan Township and Tri-Township and No. 15 DeMotte Christian are all in Sectional 49.
The No. 5 Lady Panthers had their run of three straight sectionals end with a loss to Carroll (Flora) in last year’s sectional final but will try to start a new streak this time.
Their first obstacle will be Wabash, a team they defeated 70-60 on Nov. 22 at The Cage in their regular season meeting, in a Class 2A, Sectional 36 quarterfinal at Lewis Cass on Jan. 31.
The Wabash-Pioneer winner will meet Lewis Cass, who received a bye, in the semifinals.
In the other half of the draw, both North Miami and Winamac received byes and will meet each other in a semifinal. North Miami (16-4) is undefeated against other Class 2A teams, including a 62-53 win over Wabash in their TRC meeting Saturday. Winamac is 4-17 and seeking its first sectional title in nine years.
The winner of this sectional will play the winner of Sectional 33 in a regional at Winamac. Andrean, who is ranked No. 6 and who has won three straight sectional championships, is hosting Sectional 33.